Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts

First Advisor

Bin Ramke


The following is a look at two poems by Carolyn Forché, “Nocturne” and “On Earth” to explore ways in which traumatic grief is conveyed through poetic expression and structure. The first chapter, “Finding a Home for the Dead: Processing Trauma and Remembering the Lost,” looks at ways in which poetic testimony honors and makes sacred space for the deceased. In particular, we look at ways in which the metaphoric space of the home gives shape and structure to traumatic memories. The second chapter, “Ripple Effects of Trauma: Contextualizing Experience in a World of Violence,” is a look at the poem “On Earth” as an extension of the traumatic events of “Nocturne.” In this poem, the implicit author tries to contextualize the trauma of the first poem within a larger social narrative. She does this through the ritualistic process of recapitulation with the reader, listing an array of violent images to re-orient the psyche to a pre-violence state.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. This work may only be accessed by members of the University of Denver community. The work is provided by permission of the author for individual research purposes only and may not be further copied or distributed. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Amber M. Adams


Received from author

File Format




File Size

77 pgs


Literature, Poetry